Propaganda in the Cinema (101)

Political Film Blog

You’re Being Attacked

by Joe Giambrone

Propaganda takes innumerable forms and is all around us.  Early cinema thrived on the overt type of propaganda, as in The Birth of a Nation a.k.a. The Clansman.  This 1915 outrageously racist story was the highest grossing film of its day, the first blockbuster (History.com).  The Soviets and the Nazis used film propaganda skillfully and pushed the envelope in their efforts to homogenize their populations and to create unanimous consent for official policy goals.  Film propaganda techniques have succeeded in driving nations toward war, and they remain widely in use today.

Nazi Reich Marshall Hermann Goering’s famous quote is perhaps the most authentic definition of war propaganda in existence:

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders.  This is easy.  All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the…

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